Despite the Philadelphia School District’s financial woes, parents at John Story Jenks are determined to keep creative programming alive at the Chestnut Hill school.
To that end, Friends of J.S. Jenks, a volunteer group, hosted an excercised-themed fundraising event on Saturday.
“Jogging for Jenks” consisted of a 5K “fun run” and a one-mile walk, which began and ended at The Church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, located at 8000 St. Martins Lane.
Principal Mary Lynskey said J.S. Jenks’ funding has been “hit really hard,” leaving the school without an art teacher, among other personnel and program cuts.
“We want to maintain what we’ve started and continue growing and our parents have all chipped in and decided they weren’t going to settle for mediocre,” Lynskey said.
Proceeds from the events will specifically go towards arts- and- music-related and other creative programming, Lynskey said, such as establishing a partnership with World Cafe Live.
“That’s one of the reasons our kids do well because you might hate math, but now you want to see the horses and you want to do that again so you want to do better in math and reading,” Lynskey said. “It’s not just music and arts that always get cut. It’s everything that makes kids want to come to school.”
Haviva Goldman, who heads the Friends of J.S. Jenks group, said while this is only the group’s second fundraising event, she hopes such events will help maintain a thriving school and build bridges with the community.
“In the long term, we hope we can keep the funds to keep programs in the school that are otherwise cut,” Goldman said. ” [We want] to build new infrastructure at the school and really make it one of the best public schools in Philadelphia” so that “people coming into Chestnut Hill.”
The nascent group’s goal is to raise $36,000 this academic year.
The “Jogging for Jenks” event raised $2,000, said Goldman.